Quantum Bank Inc. is a regional bank with branches throughout the south. In early 2015, the bank launched a website that provided its customers with the ability to check account balances, obtain information about the banks various services, obtain contact information and e-mail questions, and link to a variety of other useful sources of information. Given the sites tremendous success, competition from both traditional and nontraditional organizations, and the desire to expand its presence beyond its current geographical area, Quantum decided to expand its online offerings significantly. More specifically, Quantum would like to expand its offerings to include online bill payment services, allow customers to apply for credit cards and loans online, open accounts online, and manage their investment portfolio online.
Vice-President of Information Systems, Stacy Thomas, has been charged with overseeing the project. One of her first tasks is to select the project manager. Because of the strategic importance of the project, she has a strong preference for staffing the project internally as opposed to employing the services of one of the many consulting firms available that specialize in these types of projects. After developing a list of ten or so possible candidates to serve as project manager, she was finally able to pare the list down to the two finalists described below.
Bill joined Quantum in 2010 after graduating from a well-respected small private school with a degree in computer science. His first assignment as a member of the banks help desk provided him with exposure to a variety of areas in the bank. He quickly gained a reputation for being able to solve difficult technical problems. In addition, users of the banks computer systems were often heard commenting on how service oriented Bill was and on his ability to describe the concepts in nontechnical terms.
Because of both his technical knowledge related to hardware and his ability to program, Bill was selected to develop the banks website in 2013. Bill worked alone on this project and had frequent meetings with one of the banks directors of Information Systems, who supervised the project. Initially, the director did most of the design work and Bill did the computer programming. Bill often proposed alternative ways for incorporating key features into the website, and the director would choose among the options Bill identified. Toward the end of the development project, Bill began to take a more active role in proposing features to include in the site.
The development project was largely completed on time and on budget considering the changes in the scope of the project that was made as the project progressed. Several suggestions that would have extended the sites functionality were tabled to be considered after the site was officially launched.
In his current position as Webmaster, Bill is in charge of maintaining the banks website. Although Bills staff now includes a programmer and a hardware specialist, his approach is very much hands on, staying involved with all technical aspects of the site. Bill has developed an excellent rapport with his two direct reports, and they have emulated much of Bills style, including working long hours and even competing to see who can accumulated the largest number of soft drink cans, empty candy wrappers, and computer printouts on one desk.
Andy Dover also joined the bank in 2010 after completing his MBA at a large public university. Andy entered graduate school immediately after graduating with a Civil Engineering undergraduate degree at the same university.
Andy spent his first year rotating between various departments in the banks management training program. After completing this training, Andy requested permanent assignment to the operations group. His initial assignment was to oversee the check encoding operation. After implementing several process improvements, Andy was eventually promoted to senior operations analyst and worked on several large process improvement projects.
Performance evaluations of Andy suggested that one of his greatest strengths was his ability to step back from a problem and understand how the various issues were interrelated. His evaluations further recognized him as a with very good organizational skills. His organizational skills also helped him effectively present information, and he was often requested to make short presentations related to a particular projects status to senior management.
By almost all accounts, Andy was considered highly competent, completing assigned tasks in a timely fashion with little or no direct supervision. At the same time, Andy always made it a point to communicate regularly with other project team members to keep them abreast of his progress. He was often passionate about his ideas and was typically able to get buy-in from other team members for his ideas.
Andy is almost always seen carrying his planner. As an avid stock investor, he makes it a point to stay abreast of trends in technology. He has basic understanding of how technology works and knows all the important buzzwords. While he has fooled around and created a couple of web pages, he knows very little about more sophisticated programming languages such as Java, and knows even less about computer hardware beyond its basic purpose.
1. Assume you are using a traditional waterfall systems development approach for this project. Who would you recommend Stacey Thomas select to serve as project manager? Why?
2. If a Scrum systems development process were used instead a traditional waterfall approach, what role would Stacy Thomas hire for first? Which of the two candidates would you select for this role? Why?
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